Dissertation: Thanks

Graduate school is a collective endeavor, requiring the participation of many if any one person is to succeed. The following is a list of people who I owe a debt of gratitude for their help along my path.

Abigail Baird: Grand Advisor
Five years ago I walked into Professor Baird’s office thinking it would be a sidenote of my interview at Dartmouth College. Instead it was the beginning of a wonderful mentorship that has taken me from being a scraggly undergraduate to a newly minted PhD. I don’t know how many meetings we have had over the years or how many subjects we have run together in the Dartmouth Brain Imaging Center, but I do know that looking back now I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever known and it was my privilege to be her graduate student.

George Wolford: Dartmouth Advisor
When Abby departed for new opportunities at Vassar College I was left without an advisor at Dartmouth. George took me in and was nothing short of an amazing second mentor. His years of experience as a professor have given him a sage-like perspective on all things scientific and practical. From his statistical insight to his woodworking knowledge he was there for me during every step of my dissertation. I can’t thank him enough for all his contributions.

Daniel Ansari: Generous Colleague
When it became apparent that one of my thesis experiments would involve a magnitude detection task there was only one man to call. Dr. Ansari is a leader in the field of numerical cognition and a brilliant scientist to boot. He not only helped design the magnitude task but also provided some very welcome input on the dissertation in general. I know that things would not have gone quite as well without his guidance.

Donna Coch, Paul Whalen, Megan Steven: Committee Members
It is very hard work being a professor. Not only are there classes to teach but you also have to try and get some research done. Add to that hunting down grants so you can keep getting your research done in the future. Now, try to fit in a grad student who wants you to read a 180 page tome in your infinite spare time. Thanks to Donna, Paul, and Megan for giving of their time and energy to help me out.

Dana Peterson, Steve Michlovitz: School Administrators
You don’t just waltz into a middle school and start recruiting research participants. It takes several meetings and a LOT of paperwork before you can hope to gather data from children or adolescents. One thing that can help a great deal in this regard are teachers who have an interest in science and are willing to help. Over many years of research Steve and Dana have been unparalleled in making our research happen. My thanks to them for going above and beyond their normal duties to smooth the way.

Emily Cross, Gideon Caplovitz, Scott Gerlach, Justin Mellott: Great Friends
The doctoral thesis would be a lonely road without some goodhearted companions. Of the many people who helped out Emily, Gideon, Scott, and Justin stand out as people who really went out of their way to render assistance. They spent hours and hours as scanner buddies helping me run subjects, were sympathetic when times got tough, and, above all, knew when it was time to stop talking research and grab a pint. They are amazing people and helped keep me sane.

Sarah Bennett: My Wife
The absolute greatest part of the last five years was marrying my longtime sweetheart Sarah Johnson. My doctorate means nothing to me relative to the adventure we are taking together. She was there for every high and low as I pursued my PhD and I never, ever would have made it without her. Sarah, I owe it all to you.

April 2, 2008 • Posted in: Meta

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